September 09, 2012

Have a Sweet Year: Clean the slate and move on.

Ithe Hebrew calendara new year begins this evening.  

Since I was a small child, I have been excited and eager to begin a new year. It is a time when we are called to return to who we are minus all kinds of detritus acquired along the way! How? Clean out the junk (starting within), tidy up the spaces we inhabit, wake up from dazed robotic living, and make amends to ourselves and fellow creatures (including those with fins, scales, feathers, tails) for having missed the mark. And then, move on.

The first day of this two-day festival, we read the Torah portion about Sarah who treated her maid, Hagar, abusively. The commentator Nahmanides (Ramban), a leading medieval Jewish scholar, teaches that Abraham, the father of Ishmael and Isaac (firstborn sons of the women) was a partner to Sarah's abuse: He was a passive, bystander.

Ask yourself, Am I like Sarah or Abraham? Am I an unwitting abuser? Or do I regard and treat respectfully all creation?

Wishing everyone health, learning, giving, and occasions to dance, sing, comfort, laugh, remember, praise, and bless.

I first published this post on September 12, 2007.

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